Today’s guest post is from my friend Seneca. Though flower essences are her main gig, Seneca has always had a passion for holistic health and helping others learn how to stay healthy in the natural-est of ways. I invited her to share what she’s learned over the years about holistic dental care and how you can switch over to more natural methods.
Holistic Dental Care
It’s absolutely possible to have healthy teeth without all the dental cleanings and work. That doesn’t mean that you just neglect your teeth, it’s just that the typical dental care we’ve been taught isn’t necessarily the best there is.
There are lots of good holistic products out there on the market right now, but you do need to understand a few key ingredients.
Step Away from the Fluoride and Glycerin
If you’ve been kicking around the natural health and wellness world for very long, you probably already know that fluoride is a neurotoxin. It’s linked to depression, ADHD, Alzheimers, cancer, hypothyroidism, nervous system disfunction and more. And it’s questionable whether fluoride really helps dental health to begin with.
While it’s a great start to switch to fluoride free dental products and decline the fluoride treatment at the dentist, to really reduce the negative effects fluoride has on your overall health you need to remove it from your drinking water.
The problem is that when you have too much fluoride in your system it blocks the cell receptors that are supposed to receive iodine, potentially leaving you deficient.
What you may not know is that glycerin is another thing to avoid. While it’s not toxic like fluoride, it may coat your teeth, doesn’t easily rinse off and prevents your enamel from re-mineralizing and repairing through your saliva. Basically, your teeth can’t improve as long as you use it. (There is some debate over this, but why use it if you don’t have to?)
Glycerin is in almost every paste. Earthpaste and Uncle Harry’s have a couple of healthy options if you must have it in paste form. Powders are always glycerin free. There are lots on the market where there didn’t used to be, or you can make your own.
Good ingredients are clays with calcium, charcoal, baking soda, diatomaceous earth, mineral powders and xylitol to name a few.
What I Use
I was raised on tooth powder. I survived childhood brushing with minty white stuff and your kids will too. At some point they stopped making that and we used “salt n soda”. I’ve heard that’s pretty abrasive and hard on gums, but I also know people that have used it for decades. I’m one of them. Tastes terrible. Mom let me add peppermint but it didn’t help.
I never had cavities until I grew up, moved out and started using my roommate’s toothpaste. My teeth went downhill pretty fast and had to go to the dentist for the first time. It was then that I decided doing what everybody else did gave me the same results that everybody else got.
I think it was at that point I started brushing with bar soap. I read Gerard F. Judd’s book on teeth, (read for free here) learned about glycerin and his recommendation to just use soap. Meaning the most basic non-dyed, no additives, no deodorants, no nothing bar soap you can find with absolutely no glycerin. That ruled out Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint. I found a locally made peppermint soap and stuck with that for awhile.
Since Mr Judd so kindly told us we could do anything we wanted with his book, even sell it, somebody did. She inserted his manuscript into her own book and started a Tooth Soap company, making soap per his specs and selling it for a premium. It’s more sanitary to use, comes in lots of forms and flavors. My mom uses it and has no problems and no tartar.
Knowing what I know about soap-making, I’m a little dubious that you can really have a glycerin-free soap. Just because it’s not added, doesn’t mean it’s not there.
Now I’m into Eco-dent for convenience, cost and overall experience. It’s got a flip top, you just poof a little onto your wet brush and go to town. It’s not that far off from paste. It has minerals in it to help your enamel, and lots of flavors.
If you have sensitive teeth, the salt and baking soda can be a little harsh, so look for a powder without those ingredients.
I occasionally brush with charcoal, but that stuff’s not for the faint of heart. It makes a MESS and if you don’t rinse really well, you have black in between your teeth and around your gums. I don’t do it when I’m running out the door.
One of my friends says “in the shower and only at night” for charcoal toothbrushing.
After brushing, using a remineralizing mouthwash helps too. Here’s the recipe I use mixed in a glass bottle:
- 2 cups water. (I use acid water for the bacteria killing, but if you don’t have access to that, it’s fine.)
- 2 tsp calcium carbonate powder
- 1 tsp xylitol crystals (sweetens and fights decay)
- 10 drops Trace Minerals concentrate
- Few drops of whatever essential oils you want for flavor and bacteria killing.
- Shake it up!
- Swish and spit like you would any other mouthwash
Teeth not looking white can either be from staining or from thinning enamel. Taking care of your teeth via the above steps may be all you need for whiter teeth as your enamel improves. I’m an iced tea fan (lots of fluoride in non-organic tea so be careful!) so I actually have staining.
All over-the-counter tooth whitening products use hydrogen peroxide. You can wet your brush with it and brush as normal. It’s a lower amount, but over time will whiten slowly.
Brushing with activated charcoal also will help with whitening. Once you deal with more intense staining, you can probably get away with an occasional whitening treatment since you’re now taking care of your enamel.
Ain’t nobody got time for that! Actually, several of my friends do, and if I had real problems I suppose I would make time. You swish coconut or sesame oil around for 20 mins, it deals with your plaque and bacteria, and you spit it in the trash.
If you have gum problems, an abscess, or any mouth inflammation, it can help get you by until you can go to the dentist. Devotees say that beyond dental health, oil pulling detoxifies you, helps with skin problems, arthritis, headaches and infections.
Healthy Teeth from the Inside Out
Another important thing to consider is that even when you are following the above steps, you still need to stay up on minerals in your diet so that your teeth have what they need to be healthy and strong. Minerals in your powders, pastes and mouthwash help, but nothing beats the good mineral-rich saliva bath they get all day long.
By getting rid of the glycerin, you have good contact with the enamel surface so give it what it needs through a good diet. Cod liver oil supplements also provide your body with healthy fats that help fuel remineralization and healthy teeth.
Seneca Schurbon is the main gal behind Freedom Flowers and a lover of all things holistic health. When she’s not in her garden you can find her writing books that will change the world and dreaming up new ways to help you be healthy body, mind, and spirit.